Judge Delays Gun Trial For Illegal Immigrant Acquitted In Steinle Killing

A federal judge is putting on hold the trial for a Mexican man who was acquitted of shooting and killing Kate Steinle as she was walked along a San Francisco pier. The case became a national flashpoint over immigration and "sanctuary city" policies.

The judge said that he has questions about Jose Garcia Zarate's mental competency after they had a private conversation. The judge says it appeared the defendant didn't understand the charges against him and may not be taking medication for his apparent mental illness.

The trial on charges of illegal gun possession and immigration violations was expected to start next week will be on hold until a psychiatrist evaluates him.

A San Francisco jury found an Zarate not guilty of Steinle's murder in July 2017, which a decision that reignited the debate over immigration policy. He was also acquitted of involuntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon charges.

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